When Samsung decided to take on the Indian smartphone market, they grew at a healthy 10-15 % per year; their growth numbers hit 40% in the following years.
Nevertheless, recent reports show that during 2014-15, Samsung’s Indian unit grew by just 3%, i.e. Rs 41,575 crore in gross revenues (when compared to Rs 40,392 in 2103-14). This is the lowest growth-rate that the company recorded in the last 10 years.
All hell broke loose at Samsung India and Mr. HyunChil Hong was summoned to the country. Samsung crowned him as the President for its India operations.
Hong, with a mission to turn Samsung back to its profitable ways, fired around 5% of their employees in India. They targeted all mid-level managerial positions in manufacturing. He also introduced several other initiatives to get the company going in the right direction.
Countless budget phones below Rs 10,000 were launched, Samsung even leveraged e-commerce to sell their premium phones to take on Apple in the high-end smartphone sector.
Samsung tied up with ‘Make In India’ campaign to boost local manufacturing, but their efforts proved to be falling short as Micromax took over Samsung in terms of sales, according to a Counterpoint research in 2014.
Further, a Gartner report points out that Samsung lost to Apple in terms of global smartphone sales—their market share dropped by 10% in 4Q 2014. Samsung held the spot for 4 years, before the drop.
Is it time for Samsung to rethink about their strategies, yet?